Interim mobile app censorship plan sought

Summary:Attorneys-general from across Australia have announced that they are seeking an "interim solution" to classifying online games and mobile phone applications.

Attorneys-general from across Australia have announced that they are seeking an "interim solution" to classifying online games and mobile phone applications.

While computer and console games are currently subject to classification by the Classification Board, online games and mobile phone apps such as those for the iPhone are not put through the same process before being released.

In a press release put out on Friday by Federal Attorney-General Robert McClelland, he said that the Standing Committee of Attorneys-General would seek an interim solution to getting online games and mobile apps classified.

"Ministers considered the difficulties raised by industry and the Classification Board relating to the classification of online computer games including mobile phone applications that are games and asked officers to urgently develop alternative options for an interim solution," the press release stated.

ZDNet Australia asked Commonwealth Censorship Minister Brendan O'Connor about the nature of this solution and the timeline for its release, but his office had not responded at the time of writing.

In October last year, the Classification Board raised concerns about the lack of scrutiny over online games and mobile apps during a Senate Estimates hearing. In August prior to the 2010 Federal Election, O'Connor said the government had put "wheels in motion" to address closing the loophole with state and territory attorneys-general.

App developers at the time had criticised the proposal, saying that a timely and expensive classifications process might hinder them from releasing games in the Australian market.

On Friday at the Standing Committee of Attorneys-General, the attorneys-general also ruled out an immediate move to introducing an R18+ classification for video games.

Topics: Apps, Censorship, Government, Government : AU, Mobility

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Armed with a degree in Computer Science and a Masters in Journalism, Josh keeps a close eye on the telecommunications industry, the National Broadband Network, and all the goings on in government IT.

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